Every issue LAPV speaks to a fleet manager about their operations. First up is Terry Pycroft from Leeds.
What is the size and makeup of the Leeds fleet?
There are currently 1,133 vehicles in the fleet. Of these, 97 are electric and we have another 173 electric vehicles on order. We also have eight CNG vehicles, two hybrid petrol vehicles with six more on order, and 20 diesel hybrids. Currently, our alternative fuel vehicles make up 11.2% of the fleet. Once the new vehicles arrive this will go up to 27%.
How many depots and workshops do you have and what other services do you provide?
The authority has multiple depots. I look after the York Road Depot main vehicle maintenance workshop for road fleet in addition to all vehicle maintenance provision.
What are the main services you deliver to the public?
A light vehicle MOT testing station, a new generates testing (NGT) facility for LGV vehicles and main vehicle maintenance workshops. In addition to providing a one-stop-shop vehicle maintenance provision, fleet services also provides a total fleet management service with technical and procurement teams covering fleet regulation and compliance, vehicle hire, and bunkered fuel management provision for the whole authority. Finally, the vehicle maintenance and compliance team are on-site to transport drivers both internally and externally while supporting the HOS operator licence and compliance roles. The facility acts as the authority transport hub with transport logistics officers embedded in service areas acting in the capacity part of the compliance fleet hierarchy.
The main area of provision to the public is as mentioned, light and heavy vehicle MOTs, and driver training for Midas, taxi licencing, and driver assessments when requested.
What sets you apart from other local authorities?
Many of the day-to-day functions are the same as for any other local authority, however, Leeds fleet services is at the forefront of new vehicle technologies and innovation. This includes the addition of 360-degree CCTV camera systems on our refuse collection vehicles and a large and growing EV fleet. We currently have 305 electric vehicles and 108 charging points as well as a well-established home charging EV pilot scheme to help manage the charging requirements of our EV fleet.
What trends and developments have you seen over the last couple of years?
The key developments for the Leeds fleet include the recently established EV vehicle provision, with low maintenance and exemplary light vehicle options. The most recent development for us is the introduction of an electric refuse collection vehicle and an electric sweeper on demonstrations.
What are your main drivers as a fleet manager?
My personal drivers as a fleet manager are to ensure that vehicles are compliant against operating licence regulations and that drivers are safe and well trained. My other main aim is to pursue the council’s ambition to be a zero-emission fleet by 2025.
What role does sustainability play in your operation?
My role is to support the drive to reduce emissions for fleet while assisting others by leading by example in the use of alternatively fuelled vehicles to replace standard diesel.
How do you see municipal fleet management changing over the next ten years?
Authorities have a corporate responsibility to work for change and a significant role to play in enabling that change and fleet managers are integral to this. It is the role of fleet managers to support and guide others in making transport decisions and to provide reassurance while challenging the market on alternative fuel vehicle provision. Today’s fleet manager has to provide exemplary service and transport compliance, keep drivers safe, and ensure they can do their job with minimal service impact.
As a Head of Service in transport, I can see that the landscape for vehicle provision is changing and we need to adapt with a forward-thinking plan to educate drivers and engineers on the use and repair of electric vehicles while involving and engaging with services and leadership teams. Due to the shortages in both LGV drivers and vehicle engineers, we need to grow our own, and we are currently running a project to upskill existing staff using the apprentice levy to meet our requirements.
Lastly, my overall goal for the authority is to provide a fleet management and maintenance function unrivalled and unsurpassed by any internal or external organisation.